World EV Day sees DfT spark innovation


To celebrate the first-ever world electric vehicles (EV) day the government announced £12m towards research and development projects.

Among the winners of around £10m from the Catalysing Green Innovation programme were projects to speed up battery charging to just six minutes, make batteries more sustainable and lower costs.


Further competition cash is being released through the Niche Vehicle Network, an independent association of over 900 niche vehicle manufacturers, specialist technology and design and engineering companies.

On top of this, a £9.3m scheme launched by Highways England will allow businesses to try electric vehicles for free before they buy.

The initiative will see local authorities encouraging businesses with diesel van fleets to make the switch to electric.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said that special EV charging spaces and more charging facilities at supermarkets and tourist hotspots were also part of the Government's strategy to encourage EV take-up.

The moves are in response to recommendations in a government-commissioned report by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, which called for charge points installed at popular destinations, consistent and clear public signage, or guidance to local authorities on painting EV parking spaces green.

The DfT also announced that Autotrader, the popular site for buying and selling cars, is planning to develop a dedicated EV section on their website. Mr Shapps said: 'Whether you’re taking a trip with the family or commuting to work, with the wide range of models at competitive prices, it is now more cost-effective and convenient than ever to drive and charge an electric vehicle.

'This, together with our continued support for R&D, will see talented UK-based SMEs flourish, as well as more than 6,000 skilled jobs created up and down the country.

'This is why, on the world’s first-ever day dedicated to celebrating electric vehicles, I’m delighted to announce our unwavering support for a cleaner, greener transport future.'

Highways England Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan, said: 'We’re pleased to be working with councils across the country to encourage businesses to make the switch to electric, and we expect many more to start using electric vehicles when they see the savings possible.

'This is just one example of how we are using dedicated funding to benefit the environment and communities alongside our roads as well as the people travelling and working on them.'

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